Urine odors in restrooms generally come from urine that does not make it into the bowl and ends up on the floor, walls, or sides of toilets and urinals. There, it becomes food for bacteria that reside on these surfaces. The byproducts created by the bacteria cause the odors that we recognize as dirty and foul-smelling.
The best way to remove an odor is to remove its source. In restrooms, this means cleaning the urine from the surface and killing the bacteria. Urine can be removed by cleaning with an acidic bathroom cleaner. This will break down the urine salts and destroy the bacteria’s food source. However, another urine spill will just lead to the same odor problem. After cleaning, disinfecting the surface with an EPA registered disinfectant will kill bacteria.
Deodorizers can be used before, after, or in between regular cleaning and disinfecting of restrooms, or as a temporary odor control method. Deodorizers will counteract or mask the odor and are a good option during high-traffic times when closing the restroom for cleaning isn’t possible.
Porous grout in restroom floors can be a hiding place for bacteria and a major source of odor problems. For tips on cleaning grout, see Multi-Clean’s method bulletin on Grouted Tile Floor Care.
Establishing a cleaning schedule is the most efficient way to ensure restrooms are kept clean and free of urine odors, and frequent cleaning and disinfecting of floors, walls, and other surfaces in restrooms is recommended.